In contrast to the pious academics who de-sex historical figures and focus on their altruistic or megalomaniacal goals, best-selling author Moreno irreverently turns his attention to their romantic passions. He embellishes archival information with imaginative and plausible first-person narrative to create a gripping work of historical, and occasionally erotic, fiction. This is revisionist history at its most titillating. The narrators of each chapter are either the protagonists themselves or wry confidants who interweave emblematic events with the relationships in the lives of individuals central to Mexican history, perhaps from least to most revered: emperor Maximiliano and Carlota, dictator Porfirio Díaz, liberator priest José María Morelos, revolutionary Pancho Villa, politician José Vasconcelos, and, finally (courageously), writer and nun Sor Juana. Serious readers seeking to discern the effects of personal relationships on the historical trajectory of a nation will likely be disappointed, but fans of historical fiction will be tickled. The sympathetic and intimate presentations of Maximilian's bisexual affairs, Díaz's machinations to marry his niece, Father Morelos's concubine, etc., lead us to view the foibles and the passion as an indispensably delicious part of the human drama. Likely to delight anyone with interest in Mexican history or historical fiction, this is recommended for bookstores and public libraries.Carolyn Kost, Stevenson School Lib., Pebble Beach, CA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.